Keeping genes safe
China successfully launched twin BeiDou-3 navigation satellites early Monday morning, marking a major milestone for the array of positioning satellites known as BDS – the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System.
Launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Xichang, Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, the satellites are the 42nd and 43rd in the BDS constellation.
The twin Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites entered their designated orbit about three hours after their launch.
“The basic BDS-3 constellation has been completed, marking a milestone for the Chinese BeiDou to truly go global,” Yang Changfeng, chief architect of the BDS, said at a press event on Sunday in Xichang.
“BDS will reach worldwide coverage after the Monday launch with an enhanced accuracy of between 2.5 meters and 5 meters, and will provide services that are twice as good as the previous BDS-2 without even being noticed by the users,” Yang said.
This year has witnessed China’s intense efforts to launch the array of satellites that make up the country’s global navigation system.
Since November 5 last year, 19 launches of BDS3 satellites have been conducted, with the shortest intervals between launches being only 17 days, said Yang.
Such a launch schedule is unprecedented in China’s space history, Wang Ping, chief designer of the BDS-3 family of satellites, told the Global Times.
To achieve the goal, Chinese engi-
Zhuang noted that the two countries can enhance cooperation in maritime search and rescue, anti-piracy operations and crackdown on smuggling.
China views Brunei as an important partner in building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and is willing to connect the BRI with Brunei’s Wawasan 2035, according to Xinhua.
The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding in 2017 to build synergy between the BRI and Brunei’s Wawasan 2035, Xinhua reported. Wawasan 2035 was proposed in 2008 to promote economic diversification in the country.
In a statement released on Monday, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining peace, stability and security, and the importance of continuing to exercise self-restraint by all parties concerned and the promotion of mutual trust and confidence in the South China Sea, Xinhua reported.
In the statement, the two sides underscored the importance of resolving territorial and jurisdictional disputes through peaceful dialogue and consultations by sovereign states directly concerned.
Gu Xiaosong, an expert on Southeast Asian studies at the Guangxi Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday that while it has disputes with China in the South China Sea, Brunei always shows a friendly attitude on the issue, which can be an example for other related countries.
Gu said that close and friendly relations with Brunei will not only help promote regional development but also help solve the South China Sea issue.
Close BRI interaction
Trade between China and Brunei totaled $1.3 billion in the first nine months of 2018, an increase of 88.7 percent compared to the same period last year, Beijing-based newspaper Economic Daily reported Sunday.
Gu noted that “Brunei’s economy used to rely on oil and gas, while BRI provides it with an opportunity to develop other industries such as tourism, agriculture and services.”
China has become the top source of foreign tourists to Brunei, with 52,000 Chinese visiting the country in 2017, Xinhua reported on Monday.
Chinese companies have also been actively involved in infrastructure construction in Brunei, including the Pulau Muara Besar Bridge, Brunei’s first sea bridge, the Telisai-Lumut Highway and the Ulu Tutong Dam.
In addition, the 30-kilometer Temburong sea bridge, the largest infrastructure project in Brunei jointly built by a Chinese company, will also be completed soon, Xinhua reported Sunday.
Xinhua said the biggest project invested by Chinese companies in Brunei, a petrochemical project with investment from Zhejiang Hengyi Petrochemical Corporation, is expected to be completed in 2022.
These projects have improved local connectivity and become shining “brand names” of China in Brunei, Xinhua said.
The two countries are also working on building an economic corridor between Brunei and South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Guangxi can help Brunei in the high-tech industry while Brunei can provide Guangxi with resources, Zhuang said.
Exchanges between China and Brunei started in China’s Western Han Dynasty (206BCAD25), when Brunei was then known as Boni. Chinese explorer Zheng He (1371-1433), the pathfinder of the ancient Maritime Silk Road, had stopped at least twice in Brunei.
The second King of Boni died in Nanjing, East China’s Jiangsu Province, during a visit to China in 1408 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). He was buried in royal rites at that time.
Friendly interactions between China and Brunei shows that China’s ancient Maritime Silk Road, as well as the current BRI, are always a path to peaceful and friendly cooperation, Zhuang said.
Carrying a pair of BDS-3 navigation satellites, a Long March-3B launch vehicle takes off early Monday morning from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Xichang, Southwest China’s Sichuan Province.